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  • Author or Editor: Melanie A. Turner x
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Ficus benjamina L. and F. stricta Miguel. were exposed to various concentrations of ethylene gas and ethephon to determine their sensitivity to defoliation. F. stricta was more sensitive to ethephon, whereas F. benjamina was more sensitive to ethylene gas. Plants growing in medium exposed to ethylene gas depleted ethylene from the ambient atmosphere. Double-autoclaving the peat : perlite growing medium prevented ethylene depletion, indicating soil microbes as the source of depletion. Bacterial isolates from the medium depleted ethylene in vitro; fungal isolates did not deplete ethylene. The eight species of bacteria isolated into pure culture depleted 9% to 46% of the ethylene from the flask atmosphere over 5 days, with two Enterobacter spp. and one Pseudomonas sp. being the most effective depleters. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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